24 May 2017
A $40 million fund aimed at reducing the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Rotorua is now open to all landowners in the Lake Rotorua catchment with nitrogen to sell, no matter how big or small their property is.
The Lake Rotorua Incentives Scheme is available for those landowners willing to make permanent land use changes to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering the lake.
The $40 million scheme, funded jointly by the Crown and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, was set up to purchase 100 tonnes of nitrogen from landowners in the catchment by incentivising land owners to adopt a low nitrogen loss land use.
Lake Rotorua Incentives Committee chairman, Councillor Norm Bruning says to date the scheme has been focused on negotiations with large landowners but negotiations are now open to all, including small land block owners with 150kg – 1000kg of nitrogen to sell.
Mr Bruning says selling nitrogen to the Incentives Committee is about permanent reductions.
“We’re ready and waiting to negotiate purchasing nitrogen, and no land size is too small or too large.
Mr Bruning says anyone who has thought of selling nitrogen or wants to know more should get in touch. Involvement in the scheme is voluntary, and negotiations are kept confidential.
“We’ve removed all the barriers and it’s an easy process which is now accessible to everyone.”
Once a landowner decides they want to sell, the Regional Council funds the farm consultants who assist the landowners with land use change options and developing a nitrogen management plan. The Regional Council then ascertain whether they’ve got nitrogen to sell. Sellers can choose which farm consultant they want to work with, Mr Bruning says.
“Then we complete the paperwork and provide you with the written documentation, you sign, complete any necessary land use change and we put the money in your bank.”
Mr Bruning says they have tried to make the process as simple as possible so landowners can concentrate on “real work”.
He says there is a set amount of money to purchase nitrogen, enough to stop 100 tonnes from entering the lake.
“Act now so you don’t miss out. It all starts with a phone call. Expressions of interest must be indicated by 31 July.”
The Incentives Scheme is part of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme Intergrated Framework, which ultimately seeks to reduce the amount of nitrogen form entering Lake Rotorua by 320 tonnes.
The Integrated Framework also includes land use rules, the Gorse Conversion Scheme and engineering solutions.
For more information, visit the incentives page http://www.rotorualakes.co.nz/incentives
About the Incentives Scheme:
Can be accessed via Dropbox here. Lake Rotorua Incentives Committee chairman Norm Bruning explains the scheme on the side of Lake Rotorua.